Behind Inaugural Speeches, Meaningful Words

What words do presidents focus on most in their inaugural addresses? Explore speeches, from Washington to Obama

Wordle is an application that takes text from any source and enlarges words that appear more frequently. Conversely, words that are smaller appear less frequently. Small words, like the or of, are not included in the Wordles above. (

Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

By the time Abraham Lincoln delivered his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861, seven Southern states had seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. In his speech, relying on frequent references to the Constitution, Lincoln argued that the Union was indissoluble: “Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people.”

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